resource covers - young people (50)

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Bible passage: Luke 18:18-30

Background: In this session we meet the rich man. He is good and follows the rules, but Jesus says he lacks one thing. He needs ‘treasure in heaven’. He walks the walk when it suits him, but when challenged to go all the way he retreats and turns his back on Jesus. While the young people in your group might not be in the same boat as far as finances are concerned, what might be stop them from living wholeheartedly for Jesus?



10 minutes

Welcome the young people to the group and share out any refreshments you have provid­ed. Chat about the week the young people have just had. Talk about what being rich might be like. What would the group do if they won £1 million? Would they give some of it away or spend it all on themselves?



5 minutes

You will need: pens; paper

Give out the pens and paper and ask the group to think of commandments that would make the world a better place today. What would they choose as their top ten commandments?

Once they have done this, feedback and share ideas with the whole group. Would these new commandments make the world a better place? What differences and similarities are there between their ten commandments and the ones in the Bible (Exodus 20:1-17)?



10 minutes

You will need: Bible; sets of four or five different emojis printed out on paper

Before the session, choose some emojis that represent a range of emotions and then print out enough copies for each young person in the group to have a copy of each one. (If you have a large group, put the young people into smaller groups and give each group a set of emojis.)

Give out the emojis and challenge the young people to imagine they are in the crowd of people following Jesus around. You have just seen Jesus welcoming some small children and their parents, and then blessing them. Now a rich ruler has walked up to Jesus to ask about eternal life.

Explain that you’re going to read out the story of Jesus and this rich man, stopping at certain points. The young people have to choose an emoji to represent how they feel at each point.

Read Luke 18:18-30 to the group, stopping at these points:

Verse 18: how does the group feel about the rich young man?

Verse 21: how do they feel about the commandments and the rich man’s claim?

Verse 23: what do they think of Jesus’ instructions to the man?

Verse 23: how do they feel about the man walking away?

Verse 25: what do they think of Jesus’ words?

Vere 30: how do they feel at the end of the story?

Throughout the activity, remind the group that there are no right or wrong answers. The underlying principle is that following Jesus is the most important thing. By worrying about money, possessions and other ‘stuff’ we take our attention away from God.



5 minutes

Explore the story further by discussing these questions:

  • What does this story tell you about Jesus?
  • What is your reaction to the way Jesus talks to the rich man (you might want to point out that in Mark’s version of the story Jesus is described as loving the man)?
  • What things in our lives might stop us following Jesus?
  • What can we do about that?



10 minutes

You will need: paper; pens; a shredder

Give everyone paper and a pen. Explain that everyone (it is always good to include yourself and other leaders in responding to the Bible passage) is going to write a list of the things that we need to live. The list is private and will not be seen by anyone.

In the list we should be open and honest about the things we need. Include anything we might want as we grow older: a car, a house, a family, etc. Also ask the group to think about intangible things we might need, such as acceptance, respect or prestige.

Ask everyone to look at their list. Is there anything on the list that could stop us from following Jesus? Have any of us put God on the list?

Take a few moments to think about what we are carrying in our hearts. It’s not that other things are bad, but anything that hinders our relationship or walk with Jesus is. Jesus’ disciples literally followed him around Judea, Galilee and the surrounding areas. Following Jesus meant not having much to carry. For the rich man it was that he had a lot of money, but it doesn’t have to be money.

Do we need God’s help in overcoming certain things in our lives? What is in our hearts? Things or God? Use a shredder to destroy the lists or dispose of them in some other private way.



5 minutes

You will need: felt-tip pens; paper; glue or sticky tape

Give out the paper and get the young people to draw two identical heart shapes. They can colour them in and then cut them out.

Glue around edges to fix the heart shapes together, with a front and a back, but leave a gap at the top to form a pocket.

On another piece of paper, write a prayer about how we want our relationship with Jesus to be. We often talk about something being written on our hearts, but this will be written inside our hearts.

Fold the prayer up and put it in the heart pouch. Seal the heart up with glue or tape and keep it in a safe place. If the young people have their own Bibles they can keep it there as a visual reminder when they pray.

Supporting documents

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